This Month's Picture Choice
My choice of favourite picture this month is an extraordinary painting by Max Ernst
It is called At the first clear word and was painted in 1923
Those of you who follow my blog (well done, by the way!) will know that Max Ernst is one of my favourite artists and someone who has inspired my own work
That does not mean that I can tell you what this painting is about - other than I know Ernst was studying Freud at the time!
What I can tell you is that there is an interesting story behind this painting
Max Ernst entered France illegally in 1922 and found refuge with Paul Eluard and his wife Gala at their home in Paris
Eluard was a poet and part of the emerging Surrealist movement. He had met Andre Breton and Louis Aragon - founding Fathers of Surrealism - in 1918
In the photograph above Paul Eluard is at the wheel, his wife Gala is fifth from the left and Ernst is on the bicycle, lower frame
The painting under discussion began life as a mural on the wall of Eluard's house at Eaubonne (a northern suburb of Paris) and was only later transferred to canvas
There were other murals in the house that Ernst painted at this time, together with the painted door shown above
It should be added that at this time (1923) Gala was also Ernst's lover and she, with her husband Paul, lived together as a menage a trois
This may partly explain the sexual nature of these remarkable works, including the one shown above called Reality must not be seen as I am
My favourite from this series of murals is one called Long live Love, also painted in 1923 and anticipating similar work by Magritte by many years:
In 1929 Gala left Eluard and went to live with Salvador Dali, subsequently becoming his most cerebrated 'Muse'